International Peace and Security consists of a broad-based multidisciplinary curriculum, focusing on law and conflict in international society and contemporary security issues. Ideal for careers in international organisations; government departments; political risk and financial sector; further research/PhD; professional legal studies.
- The only MA in the UK which provides an integrated study of international law with international politics relevant to the contemporary world.
- Choose from as many as 30 optional modules from Law or War Studies to tailor the programme to your interests.
- Unrivalled location in central London close to the Royal Courts of Justice, leading NGO's and research institutions, Westminster and London's legal quarter.
Read what our students say about this programme on the Testimonial page
International organisations, eg the UN, the OSCE and the EU; government departments, eg ministries of foreign affairs and defence; political risk and the financial sector; continuing studies at research/PhD level; professional legal studies.
Professor Guglielmo Verdirame & Professor James Gow
King's College London
Credit value (UK/ECTS equivalent)
UK 180/ECTS 90
One year FT, two years PT, September to September.
Year of entry 2013
School of Social Science and Public Policy
Department of War Studies
31 July 2013 or until places are filled.
30-45 FT and PT.
PT Home: £5250 (2013)
PT Overseas: £8400 (2013)
FT Home: £10500 (2013)
FT Overseas: £16800 (2013)
Postgraduate Officer, Centre for Arts & Sciences Admissions (CASA)
tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 1977 / 7203
To give students of international relations, historians, and political scientists a deeper knowledge of international law; to narrow the existing gap between international lawyers and international relations specialists; to educate people who could work in international organisations (both inter-governmental and nongovernmental), in government, or teach international law and politics.
This programme was launched by the School of Law and the Department of War Studies in response to the rapidly changing world after the Cold War. We aim to combine the strengths of both departments and provide you with an integrated study of international law and international politics relevant to the contemporary world. This type of study is necessitated by the major changes in the domain of international peace and security which have occurred in recent years.
The early 1990s saw radical change in the international system as has the start of the 21st century. Events in Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda, Libya and Haiti and the creation of ad hoc international tribunals, as well as September 11, the War on Terrorism and Iraq from 1990 to the present all represent new approaches to international order.
Central to this is the reinterpretation by the United Nations Security Council of that which constitutes a threat to international peace and security; this single change has had enormous impact on international society and global security, forcing a reassessment of fundamental doctrines by scholars and practitioners at the interface of law and international relations. Together, these changes create a need for the integrated study of international relations and international law.
Core programme content
The MA programme is designed as a one year full-time, or two year part-time taught programme which offers students the opportunity to engage critically with the field of war studies. The programme consists of a broad based multi-disciplinary curriculum.
The MA programme contains the following elements:
Indicative non-core content
- A compulsory module, Law and Conflict in International Society, divided into three parts: Introduction to International Law and International Politics; Contemporary Security Issues; The Contemporary Research Agenda
- Optional modules chosen from a range of possibilities (worth 80 credits in total). These may be taught exclusively by either the Department of War Studies or the School of Law, while others may be taught jointly. Please note: not every option in Law will be available to IPS students. Please see a list of possible War Studies options below. You are advised not to base your decision to join the degree programme soley on the list below. Each year the optional modules will vary, and we can not guarantee to offer all those listed in any given year. Please see a list of typical options below.
- A dissertation of 15,000 words.The dissertation is to be written over the summer term. Students may choose their own topic but it must fall within the remit of the study of war and must be approved by a member of staff. Part-time students are advised to take the compulsory module in the first year of study and write the dissertation in the second year.
Compulsory 3 part module:
Introduction to International Law & International Politics
The first compulsory module aims to provide the foundation for an integrated study of international relations and international law. It seeks to do so by providing a basic introduction to the disciplines of international relations and international law. The module will embrace the most important concepts and issues in each field, treating similar areas in each discipline in parallel. The unifying element is the set of issues surrounding sovereignty and the state in both disciplines and in international life.
Contemporary Security Issues
The second compulsory module aims to link the disciplines of international politics and international law through investigation, analysis and discussion of contemporary security issues. This module complements the disciplinary study of international politics and international law by providing an opportunity to apply theory in practical exercises. The module linking the two disciplines that underpin the International Peace and Security Programme, offers a framework in which the topics discussed in discrete disciplinary terms in the first compulsory module are integrated through investigation of prominent issues of contemporary international peace and security.
The Contemporary Research Agenda
The intention in this part of the module is to be flexible, offering the opportunity to respond to emerging events and issues within the scope-of the course. This part of the module includes dissertation training sessions, role-play and practical experience workshops, presentations on current research topics and integrative workshops. This part of the compulsory module will also include a Dissertation Presentation Workshop as part of the dissertation training element over two days in Term 3. Each class member is expected to make a presentation of their work to date, it is not expected that this will be a presentation of final research findings. The presentation should last around 10-15 minutes and will be part of a panel, with questions and discussion following each panel's presentations.
FORMAT AND ASSESSMENT
Compulsory module; two optional modules; compulsory dissertation. Written examinations and essays. Part-time students are taught at the same time as full-time students.
More information on typical programme modules.
NB it cannot be guaranteed that all modules are offered in any particular academic year.
- Encourage interdisciplinary study of international law, international politics, strategy and ethics
- To foster knowledge and understanding of empirical cases and issues of international peace and security
- Cultivate reflective discussion of current developments in international peace and security
- Promote new and current research on aspects of international peace and security Foster knowledge and understanding of research issues
- Encourage reflection on research project design
By the end of this phase of the compulosry module all students should have:
- Knowledge of basic elements of international law and international politics Knowledge and understanding of major cases and issues of international peace and security
- Familiarity with issues of research design, methodology and implementation
- Awareness of new and current research in international peace and security Engaged critically with issues of international peace and security
Participated in workshops exploring integrated aspects of international peace and security
Suggested readingBull, H. The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics, (London, Macmillan, 1977)Gow, J., Defending the West, (Polity, 2005)Henkin, L. International Law: Politics and Values (1995), Chs. 1 and 3Higgins, R. Problems and Process: International Law and How We Use It (1994), Chs. 1 and 3Holsti, K.J. International Politics: A Framework for Analysis, 5th ed. (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1988), esp. Part IIMüllerson, R. Ordering Anarchy: International Law in International Society (2004)Waltz, K. Theory of International Politics, (London: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1979)
This module is intended to enable students to develop an informed and detailed understanding of the background to the Afghan conflict and to wider security issues in the region, including India-Pakistan relations, insurgencies in various countries, and the security concerns of their establishments. The teaching will draw upon aspects of history, international relations, security studies, anthropology and sociology to develop deeper insights into the origins and nature of these issues.
By the end of the module students will have developed a:
- Strong historical understanding of contemporary security issues, and an
- Appreciation of the importance of political and strategic cultures in the approach to national security.
They will also be familiar with various issues in the background to Afghan and South Asian Security, including:
- The nature and limitations of rising powers
- The continued importance of Maoist ideology
- The nature of international jihadi groups
- The nature of nationalist and ethnic rebellions
- Alternative explanations of deterrence theories
- Importance of diaspora communities and the limitations of ‘global insurgencies’
- Military modernization and force structure in India and Pakistan
- Human security, Climate change, and resource wars
Module code: 7SSWM029
Credit level: 7
This module explains the military history of the Civil War and places it in the evolution of modern warfare, as many of its central features prefigure the Two World Wars of this century. We will assess the impact of industrialisation on war, the rise in the strength of the tactical defensive, and the impact of the railways and the telegraph on strategy. A very important theme is the way that military operations were shaped by the American political system and constitutional arrangements. Students cannot understand the war adequately unless they gain an understanding of how the American Constitution works. Elections continued regardless throughout the war and thus 'the war' itself became a major political 'issue', especially in 1864. Consequently, the respective contributions to the war effort of the executive branch and Congress will be a major concern, especially the dramatic increase in the power of the executive. Contrasts with the Confederacy will be examined.Aims:
The aim of this module is to evaluate the military conduct of the American Civil War within its general context, by relating war on the battlefield to the political and social forces that directed it. This approach is an important one because far too much Civil War history has been antiquarian in tone and context, and far too concerned with piling up detail for its own sake. A narrowly focused approach to campaign history detailing every tactical move on the battlefield irrespective of its significance while simultaneously ignoring the political and social factors that determine the conduct of war is termed 'drum and trumpet' history. Much Civil War history has taken this form, especially during the Centennial years of 1961-65. This module will not consist of 'drum and trumpet' history. Moreover, students will not be required to master masses of minor tactical detail that explains the course of particular battles. General issues about the war's conduct will be our main concern. Given the focus on broad themes that rest on an understanding of military operations, students should be able to demonstrate both breadth and depth of knowledge.
Upon successful completing the course, students will have gained an understanding of:
- Why the war broke out and how political issues influenced the Civil War's conduct;
- The nature of strategy and its relationship with tactics and operations;
- The degree to which the Civil War was a 'modern war';
- The role and character of Civil War generalship and the pressures exerted on individual commanders in a democracy.
- Upon successfully completing the course, students should be in a position to:
- To navigate their way around a subject which has generated a vast (although enjoyable) literature that needs to be approached with discernment
- To grasp and analyse the significance of bias or special pleading in the presentation of an historical case.
The module discusses health, security and development challenges facing modern complex political emergencies. It also provides analysis of the policy debates taking place within the humanitarian sector when addressing these challenges. This course is suitable for students with a keen interest in the health sector.
The aims of the module are:
To provide students with an overview of security, health and development-related challenges and policy debates concerning modern complex political emergencies.To demonstrate an understanding of the political, economic and social factors that contribute to complex political emergencies after the end of the Cold War;To analyse the direct and indirect effects of complex political emergencies on global, national and human security;To identify the actors and institutions involved in the international humanitarian system, and the management and coordination issues currently facing them;To provide a framework for understanding humanitarianism, the humanitarian principles, and ensuing ethical dilemmas;To describe and critique the key policy debates currently taking place within the humanitarian field (humanitarianism, relief to development, coordination, evaluation and quality);To describe the challenges of developing context-sensitive responses to public health problems (e.g. reproductive health, communicable disease, mental health); To explore the complexities of the linkages between emergency relief activities and longer term development and post-conflict issues.To gain an insight into some of the key challenges involved in rebuilding health systems in post-conflict situations.
Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of modern complex political emergencies in the context of health, security and development challenges.
- display a critical understanding of the institutions and processes of policy-making within the international humanitarian system.
- to offer a critical analysis of the multidimensional nature of complex political emergencies.
- to critically engage with multi-disciplinary academic and policy literature on the subject and to undertake independent research.
- to critically engage with the methodological aspects of theoretical and operational issues concerning complex political emergencies.
- to structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing and participate in team-work activities.
This option module builds on a corpus of material hitherto almost entirely neglected within War Studies curricula, namely the several thousand conflict simulation board games published in recent decades which attempt to model the dynamics of past or potential campaigns. Aims
The aims of the course are as follows:
- to familiarise students with the various possible mechanisms of conflict simulation, and the strengths and weaknesses of each;
- to allow students to create their own original simulation of a particular historical campaign or battle of their choice;
- to use simulation and modelling to encourage students to analyse the key dynamics of conflict situations, thereby gaining greater insight into the physical and human determinants of conflict;
- to help develop a wide range of skills, including critical appraisal of existing simulations, detailed historical research into a specific campaign, intellectual creativity in devising and testing simulation models, legalistic clarity and precision in drafting simulation rules, and design skills in producing simulation graphics;
- to allow students to practise broader transferable skills, in particular team work in a variety of contacts, familiarity with handling computer graphics, and the use of the internet to find information, disseminate ideas and receive feedback from the wider simulation community.
After successfully completing the course, students should be able to do the following:
- understand the various mechanisms through which conflict simulation games may operate;
- appreciate the artificialities in conflict simulation games, and the inevitable tension between 'realism' and 'playability';
- discuss the utility and the limitations of conflict simulation games in helping to understand conflict dynamics;
- critically assess existing conflict simulation games, and suggest possible improvements;
- produce to a satisfactory standard their own small conflict simulation game, through all the stages from detailed historical research through concept development, rules drafting, graphic design and rigorous play-testing to the physical production of a finished game with rules, map and counters;
- reflect critically on the design choices made and the strengths and limitations of their game, in extensive designer's notes.
The module provides an analytical and empirically informed treatment of the linkages between conflict, development and Islam in Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It explores the origins and dynamics of wars and unresolved military conflicts in the region, and examines potential new sources of violence that might emerge both in the region, and in neighbouring countries. The module analyses the challenges of economic development and the linkages of development and security in Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. It also explores the dynamics of Islam, nationalism and extremist ideologies as they develop in Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as the linkages between international terrorism, al Qaeda and Islam in Eurasia. Special attention is given to the role played by the international community in addressing issue of conflict, security and development in the region.
The aims of the module are to provide:
- an understanding of the origins and dynamics of wars and unresolved military conflicts in the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia, as well as an examination of new possible sources of violence and conflict in the area and in neighbouring regions.
- an examination of the challenges of economic development and its linkages with security in the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asian, as well as an examination of the regions' economic ties with neighbouring countries (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, the EU).
- an understanding of the dynamics of Islam, nationalism and extremist ideologies in the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia, and of the linkages between international terrorism, al Qaeda and Islam in Eurasia.
- an assessment of the impact of political developments in neighbouring Muslim regions (Turkey, the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia) on Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus.
- an examination of the involvement of the international community and neighbouring countries in addressing issues of conflict, security and development in the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia.
- critical assessment of the relevant literature on the various topics, as well as guidance in conducting research.
On completion of the module students will demonstrate:
- a clear understanding of the causes, dynamics and consequences of wars and unresolved military conflicts in the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia regions, as well as an understanding of the wider relationship of such conflicts to international peace and security.
- good knowledge of potentially new sources of violence in the region and in neighbouring areas.a thorough understanding of the developmental challenges affecting region, including proper knowledge of possible models of economic growth and development, as well as a thorough understanding of the linkages between development and security during conflicts and in the aftermath of conflicts in the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia.
- a deep understanding of the dynamics of Islam, nationalism and extremist ideologies as they develop in Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus and their linkages with conflict, development, and international terrorism.
- an awareness of the ways in which the international community can assist in addressing issues of conflict, development and political and religious extremism in the region.
- an ability to engage critically with the literature on the subject, and to conduct research.
Module code: 7FFLA571
Credit level: 7
Half-module (semester 2)
Taught by: Professor Penny Green & Cian Murphy
Explore political violence by examining the use of terror by both states and non state actors. Examine media and other popular representations of political violence and contrast those representations with extant empirical evidence on the nature and scale of terrorism. Investigate the nature and impact of counter terrorism strategies, particularly as they pertain to targeted communities in both the UK and internationally. Also explore theorietical issues arising from the study of violence, power and legitimacy.
This module is one of the compulsory elements in the MA in Science and Security and is also available as an options module to students on other MA programmes in the Department. The purpose of the module is to examine a variety of issues in international politics where scientific and technological issues intersect with security concerns. We focus on three broad topics: missile defense and the prospect of an arms race in space; the environment as a security threat, and the verification of arms control and disarmament agreements. For each of these topics, we gain an understanding of the science involved, examine relevant social science theories and concepts, and then use these tools to anlayse the policy issues involved, with a focus on the interaction of science and politics.
The aims of the module are to:
- familiarise students with the basic science underlying important contemporary issues in international politics
- develop a systematic understanding of the relevant concepts and theories from Security Studies, and encourage a critical awareness of the theoretical and empirical debates surrounding them
- promote the capacity for critical evaluation, independent judgment and communication at a level commensurate with taught postgraduate study
- foster the skills required for critical analysis of the implications of scientific and technological developments on security
- provide a framework for original analysis of the historical and contemporary role of scientific developments in shaping security problems
By the end of the module, students will have:
- a basic understanding of the science underlying contemporary issues in international politics
- the ability to analyse critically technical claims made in the field of international security
- an ability to provide politically-informed technical analysis in the field of science and security
- critically engaged with key concepts and theories used in security studies, and applied those concepts and theories to an analysis of current and historical security issues
- carried out original, critical analysis of the impact of scientific and technological developments on security, using knowledge of the science involved and tools drawn from IR theory and security studies
- practised a range of intellectual, practical and transferable skills, through participation in classes and through the preparation and submission of course work
The module provides an introduction to the study of East Asian security in the contemporary world. East Asia stands out as one of the world's most dynamic regions and the module analyses how competing schools of thought identify in different political, strategic, socio-cultural and economic factors the keys to decipher the evolving nature of regional architecture and power structure.
The module focuses primarily on the area of the Eurasian continent including countries historically influenced by the Chinese civilisation, China, Japan, the two Koreas, and Taiwan. It reviews cultural assumptions and historical circumstances that shaped the security of the region in the Cold War and beyond. It investigates liberal, realist and constructivist theories of regional security and test them against issues of critical significance for regional stability such as the role of the American alliance system in the post 9/11 era, the power competition between the United States and China, and the questions of legacy and memories of World War II. Further, the module explores the influence of actors such as India, ASEAN and the European Union on regional order and power balance.
This module aims to:
- Provide students with an historical and geopolitical understanding of the different notions of East Asia;
- Introduce students to the existing literature and perspectives on East Asian security;
- Enhance students' ability to assess the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to regional security;
- Foster the understanding and application of a range of intellectual and study skills, including critical analysis, independent judgment, as well as oral and written presentational skills and time management.
Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:
- Have a comprehensive understanding of the different approaches to the study of East Asian security;
- Evaluate and debate theories and interpretations of East Asian security through critical and analytical analysis;
- Place issues and problems concerning security in East Asia within the context of wider debates on international security affairs;
- Have a substantial knowledge of the methodological issues concerning research on East Asian security;
- Undertake original and independent research on questions related to international relation theories and security in East Asia.
This is a research based option which flows from the work conducted by Professor Frost in the field of Ethics in International Relations. The impetus for this research came from the neglect which the discipline of IR has traditionally shown towards issues to do with ethics in world politics. The central claim developed and defended in this option is that no coherent understanding of contemporary international affairs is possible without a serious and sustained engagement with a core set of ethical issues. Such engagement with ethical thought and argument is required for us to make sense of any of the following actions: actions in defence of state sovereignty, wars of national liberation, new wars, secession, intervention, the war against terror, international crime, international aid, development aid, national self-determination. In recent years IR scholars have gradually paid more attention to the link between ethics and explanation in world politics. This module will introduce students to some of the key debates which have emerged in the burgeoning field of contemporary normative international relations theory.
- This module will engage students in a research based programme built around the core text written by the convenor entitled Global Ethics: Anarchy, Freedom and International Relations (Routledge, 2008), but will also refer to his other books, Constituting Human Rights (Routledge, 2002), Ethics in International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and Towards a Normative Theory of International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 1986).
- It will immerse students in an in-depth, historically informed study of the place of ethics in the discipline of International Relations paying particular attention to the reasons for its neglect in main stream International Relations theory as it developed in the 20th century
- This option will acquaint students with the traditional literature that did take ethical issues in international affairs seriously prior to the advent of modern social scientific method in the discipline. They will consider why this body of literature was submerged by the rise of positivist social scientific approaches to IR.
- It will explore the ways in which ethical matters impinge on the study of world affairs in spite of the sustained attempts by scholars to make a sharp distinction between facts and values in order to sustain the claim the IR is a scientific discipline.
- It will discuss the social scientific difficulties we encounter when studying human actions (which is the material studied by IR theorists) and how these difficulties inevitably lead social scientist to engage with profound ethical issues.
- Students will be lead to discover the salience of the above for our understanding and explanation of all key policy areas in international affairs from trade policy to war making.
- A key aim is to teach students how to move beyond merely pointing out the salience of ethical considerations to what they do as IR scholars, to actually engaging in argument to move towards a solution of some of the pressing ethical issues of our time in the international sphere. They will be required usefully to engage with questions to do with sovereignty, just war theory, normative theories about new wars, the ethical issues produced by the global "war on terror", global governance, democratization, the advancement of freedom by global civil society, human rights in a world of states, and others.Students will be invited to discuss a range of core texts by contemporary political philosophers working in this area including the work of John Rawls, Michael Walzer, Terry Nardin, Charles Beitz, Mervyn Frost, Chris Brown and others.
Upon successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Spell out and analyse how the distinction between factual/empirically based social science and normative theory was normally drawn by scholars in IR during the 20th century. In doing this they will be able to display advanced knowledge of the ontological, epistemological and normative underpinnings of major contemporary IR theories
- Outline and evaluate the critical turn taken by interpretative approaches to social science which made explicit how ethical matters are implicated in the conduct of all social scientific inquiry. They will be able to display a knowledge based in contemporary post positivist theory.
- Discuss how all our scientific and everyday understandings of world politics are shot through with ethical judgements
- Critically engage with a range of core texts which exemplify some of the contemporary traditions of thinking about ethics in world politics. These texts would include work by some of the following scholars: John Rawls, Michael Walzer, Terry Nardin, Charles Beitz, Mervyn Frost, Onora O'Neill and Chris Brown
- Apply the insights of current scholarship in ethics and international relations to the ethical puzzles which confront actors in the everyday practice of global politics which might include issues to do with war and peace, the individual in world politics, democratizing structures of global governance, promoting the spread of global civil society, dealing with migrants in a world of states, and confronting issues to do with the just distribution of resources in global context.
The module aims to introduce a range of analytical approaches to the study of security in Europe today and develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the main issues and developments since the end of the Cold War. It focuses on the response of states and international organisations to the new security challenges and considers the nature of the emerging security order. It analyses the ways in which NATO, the EU and the OSCE have adapted to the post Cold War and post 9/11 security environment, the relationship between them and their respective roles in providing security. The role of the US in Europe and the debate over the future of the transatlantic security partnership will be critically explored. National perspectives on European security issues are also considered through the comparative study of the defence policies of France, Germany, the UK, Russia and a selection of other European states. The module concludes with a number of case-studies on specific issues and regions in order to bring together both the conceptual and empirical themes of the course.
The aims of the module are to:
- Introduce a range of analytical approaches to the study of security in Europe today
- Raise awareness of the academic debate on identities, including the question of 'what is Europe?' Identify the new security challenges and assess the response of European states and international organisations to them
- Critically analyse the ways in which NATO, the EU and the OSCE have adapted to the new security environment and explore the issues concerning the evolving relationship between them and their respective roles in providing security
- Engage critically with debates on the future of the transatlantic security relationshipAssess the significance of different national perspectives by studying the security and defence policies of a number of European states, including France, Germany, the UK and Russia
- Synthesise the conceptual and empirical themes of the course through a number of case-studies on specific security issues and regions
- Reflect on the nature of the emerging European security order
Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:
- Identify and assess the main issues in European security today, both in terms of specific challenges and the policy responses to them
- Critically engage in the debates about the nature and role of identities in Europe, including the contested issue of 'European' identity
- Compare the security needs and policies of individual European states and account for similarities and differences between them
- Understand the rationale for European integration, particularly in the field of security
- Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of NATO, the EU and the OSCE and the debates concerning their role in European security
- Assess the basis of the transatlantic security relationship and the prospects for the future
- Apply appropriate concepts, theories and vocabulary from the specialist academic literature on European security to their study of the issues raised in the course.
Module code: 7FFLA039
Credit level: 7
Taught by: Professor Aileen McColgan, Dr Lorenzo Zucca & Nicholas Gibson
This module considers the jurisprudential foundations of the new Act, its roots in English law and its relationship with the law and practice of civil liberties in the United Kingdom. It also subjects the Act to in-depth analysis, against the background of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. The module analyses the UK-based case law on human rights which has occurred both before and after implementation of the Human Rights Act in October 2000. It ends with a discussion of the implications of the Human Rights Act for British Law, English legal culture and the role of the judiciary.
- To foster the capacity for critical analysis of insecurity, risk, and unease, developing students' capacity for independent judgement and communication at a level commensurate with postgraduate study.
- To develop an interdisciplinary approach towards questions of security, war, policing, and risk, adding to the traditional knowledge of International Relations concerning these domains, central highlights coming from political theory, history, cultural anthropology, criminology, political sociology, surveillance studies.
- To address the relationship between policing (criminal justice, intelligence, and risk assessment) and defence (war making, antiterrorist operations abroad and peace support operation) as a set of entangled practices whose boundaries are shifting with forms of policing abroad and military intelligence surveillance inside.
- To discuss the boundaries of the networks constituted by different professionals and experts of (in)security at the transnational scale and is based on a deep empirical research concerning the European Union and its transatlantic relations
- To connect to International Relations theories (mainly anglo-american) a line of thought coming from French and continental theorists and sociologists, often misread as post-modern, like Bruno Latour, Ulrich Beck, Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu, and tries to show how they can be operationalised methodologically for empirical research concerning (in)security
- Helps students understand the relationship between agents and institutions relating to (in)security within the European Union and beyond.
- Addresses the impact of these networks of (in)security professionals at the transnational scale on the capacity of the professionals of politics at the national level and within the EU context to govern effectively.
- Discusses the emergence of transnational professional guilds which destabilises the very notion of national government and national state.
- Opens a discussion about contemporary dynamics of social changes seen often as globalisation, and to their relations with order, equality and freedom.
- Enables also students' capacity to analyse the dynamics at works concerning (in)security, risk and unease in other different social and professional universes, including beyond coercive agents, the domains of health, environment, banking, through a reconceptualisation of what (in)security practices means and what they do.
By the end of the module students will be able to
- Relate the theoretical and conceptual debates on security and insecurity to wider theoretical and conceptual frameworks.
- Understand of the qualities and limits of contemporary International Relations theories on this subject.
- Understand better the significance of issues raised in the module in relation to wider methodological concerns, and learn from the module how to engage in empirical research while having a background of constructivist epistemology.
- Appreciate the normative dimension of the study of (in)security regarding freedom, equality and justice, and have the capacity to understand the ethical dilemmas surrounding the (in)security dynamics.
Module code: 7FFLC005
Credit level: 7
Half-module (semester 2)
Taught by: Dr Marco Roscini
You cover: the rules and customs of war (Hague Law and Geneva Law), including the relevant legal instruments pertaining to the status and protection of prisoners of war, the protection of civilian populations, the use of certain weapons, the status of combatants, the definition of military objective, belligerent occupation, and the criminal consequences of the violations of the law of armed conflict.
Teaching staff: Dr Marco Roscini
We will start from the prohibition to use force in international relations contained in Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter and will then proceed to analyse the exceptions to this prohibition: those codified in the UN Charter (self-defence, collective security) and those which are not (e.g., humanitarian intervention).
We will review and assess the basic jus ad bellum doctrines, while also examining various armed conflicts in relation to which these doctrines have been applied and shaped. For example, we will consider the doctrinal legacy left by the intervention in Kosovo and by the invasion of Iraq. Key questions to be addressed include: how should the use of force be defined for the purpose of legal regulation? What is the scope of the right of self-defence? Does self-defence cover the right to use force to protect nationals abroad, to pre-empt an attack that is not imminent, or to act against a state that is harbouring terrorists? Are interventions to further democracy or to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction legitimate exceptions to the prohibition of recourse to force? Throughout the module, you will be invited to think about jus ad bellum as a contested field in which different actors – legal advisers to foreign offices, military lawyers, international lawyers working for NGOs, legal scholars, activists and others – all play a part.
The module explores the emergence and evolution of the Middle East system of states and its international politics since 1945, through a framework of analysis that is partly historical and partly thematic. The module is heavily based on reading seminars through which the themes discussed in lectures are explored, often in relation to current case studies. You will be expected to read an average of 140-150 pages a week. The lectures start with a survey of the emergence of the modern Middle East since the late Ottoman period, through the era of British and French imperialism, to the post-1945 independence period and the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. This is intended to demonstrate the importance of the international system in shaping the modern states and political patterns of the region, and also to reveal the importance of social structures and political economy in additionally determining inter-state behaviour. This perspective is applied to the rise of nationalism, impact of oil, and pressures to liberalize economically and politically, especially since the end of the Cold War. Sweeping social and economic transformation has moreover led to the rise of new forms of 'identity politics' that are explored in the cases of religious-nationalist Zioism and of political Islam, and to the increasing role of armed non-state actors. These themes are developed through extensive discussion of select case-studies including Iraq, Iran, and Israel and the Palestinians. The primary aim is to provide a basic ability to analyze and understand major political issues and historical processes in the Middle East. The secondary aim is to provide training in the critical reading of assigned texts and their use in analytical writing.
The aims of the module are to:
- enhance student knowledge of the determinants of modern Middle East politics and state formation;
- provide an analytical framework for understanding the Arab-Israeli and Gulf conflicts, intra-regional relations, the politics of oil, and the Middle East policies of the super/global powers;
- allow students to develop their understanding of the role of identity politics (nationalism and religion) in inter-state politics in the region;
- allow students to develop their understanding of the politics of economic and political liberalization in the Middle East in the context of globalization;
- encourage critical engagement with debates about the applicability and utility of different International Relations theoretical approaches in explaining the international politics of the Middle East.
At the end of the module, students will be able to:
- interpret and explain events in the Middle East through application of universal analytical concepts and methods;
- assess critically the impact of global processes on Middle East politics, and equally to draw on the example of the Middle East to re-evaluate the international politics of other regions of the world;
- demonstrate a critical understanding of the levels-of-analysis approach, questions of causality, and critical comparative perspective in International Relations thinking, including the interplay of external and internal factors in the national, regional, and international politics of states;
- explain the relevance of social origins, historical context, and political economy of states to their foreign policy behaviour, affecting the nature, extent, and pace of regionalism, economic and political liberalization, and globalization;
- demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of ideology and culture in international politics;
- communicate effectively about these issues verbally and in writing;display research skills pertinent to the study of international politics of the Middle East.
Module code: 7FFLA034
Credit level: 7
Taught by: Professor Satvinder Juss
Who is a refugee? How does international law protect refugees? A ‘refugee’ is any person who: ‘owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.’
This module focuses on this definition and the case law under this definition. What is the meaning of ‘persecution’? When is a person rightly regarded as ‘unwilling to avail himself of the protection’ of the country of his nationality? When is it right to say that there is sufficient protection against persecution in the person's country of origin? Various modern conflicts will be considered, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Iran and Colombia, with a view to shedding light on these questions.
This is the only module exclusively devoted to international refugee law at King's College London.
Module code: 7SSWM044
Credit level: 7
Module code: 7FFLA050
Credit level: 7
This full-module comprises the following two half-modules, please see their individual entries for module descriptions:
Mental Health Law & Criminal Justice (half-module)
Mental Health Law: The Civil Context (half-module)
The development and spread of weapons technology has always been of central importance in international relations, and it remains so in today's world with growing concern about the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons and their means of delivery notably ballistic and cruise missiles. In line with the priority within the Department of War Studies to promote research-led teaching in the field of weapons proliferation, reflected in, but not restricted to, the aims of the MA in 'Non-Proliferation and International Security', this module focuses specifically on the issue of missile proliferation and enables students to examine the causes, processes and effects of missile proliferation, the evolution and effectiveness of international missile non-proliferation efforts, and the various other ways in which the international community, and states therein, have sought to counter the challenges posed by missile proliferation.
The aims of the module are:
- to provide students with a specialised knowledge of the causes, processes, effects and technical aspects of ballistic and cruise missile proliferation;
- to provide students with a specialised knowledge of the various policy responses for dealing with the challenges posed by missile proliferation including their strengths and weaknesses;
- to provide an understanding of the strategic concepts necessary to understand missile proliferation as part of the security strategy of states and how this relates to other international security issues;
- to enable students to acquire a critical understanding of the significance of missile technology and its spread to further centres of control over time including its historical role, contemporary trends and future direction;
- to use conceptual and theoretical frameworks to analyze and critically examine case studies of missile proliferation;
- to compare and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of historical and contemporary policies for addressing the challenges posed by missile proliferation including export controls and missile defence.
On completion of this module, students will be able to demonstrate:
- comprehensive knowledge of the empirical history of missile proliferation, non-proliferation and military-based responses to the problem;
- a sophisticated understanding of the link between missile proliferation and broader international security issues, including the causes of peace and war, military doctrine and strategy;
- their understanding of a framework for critical evaluation of the causes, processes, consequences and policy responses to missile proliferation;
- skills in critical analysis, independent judgment, and oral and written presentation to a level commensurate with taught post-graduate study.
The aims of the module are:
- To promote multidisciplinary understanding of concepts, issues and debates regarding nationalism and security
- To encourage understanding of the interaction between statehood and population groups
- To appreciate the relationship between national political discourse and the peace-conflict axis
- To foster conscious critical reading and discussion of issues of ethnicity, identity, statehood, self-determination and self-protection
- To complement core course work on the social dimension of war, international order nexus of international peace and security
Students who successfully complete this module will have :
- Familiarity with key concepts of nationalism and security
- Understanding of the variety of relationships within and between states and social groups
- Understanding of the relationship of nationalism to various aspects of security
- Command of key concepts such as state, nation, nationalism, ethnicity, self-determination and security.
- Examined the relationship of nationalism to violence, inter-communal strife, and the instruments of state policy.
- Understanding of nationalism as both a challenge and a support of international order in the contemporary world.
- Examined literature on different approaches to nationalism in history and the social sciences
- Knowledge and understanding of nationalism and security in relation to specific empirical cases
- Explored the problems and possible solutions to contemporary issues of nationalism and security
The aim of the module is to discuss all the ramifications of natural resource conflicts in developing societies and to situate these within the nexus of security and development. The module is conceived against the increasing importance of natural resources in developing societies and the implications of the attendant conflicts to global peace. The module defines natural resources as all non-artificial products situated on or beneath the soil or rivers, which can be extracted, harvested or used and whose extraction, harvest or usage generate income or serve other functional purposes in benefiting mankind. The conflicts covered under the course include those between and within nations. Among others, the module focuses on the causes and nature of resource conflicts, their connection with local and global governance, the clash between local claims and national interest in resource politics, the link between international demand and pressures on local communities, the activities of warlords, the involvement of the international community in addressing these conflicts and the impact of globalisation on resource conflicts. The module also discusses all the contending debates on natural-resource conflicts and takes examples from across the world to illuminate the different manifestations and complexities of these conflicts.
At the end of the module, it is expected that students will be in a position to understand:
- the academic issues surrounding natural resource conflicts, especially the local and international issues that determine their causes and manifestations;
- the policy issues raised by these conflicts, especially the efforts by the international community like the Kimberley Process;
- Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and a host of others; andhow natural resource conflicts have stunted development and affected security in developing societies
(a) Contextualising "Natural resources" and "Conflict"
(b) The conflicts over land
(c) Mineral Resources and Conflict
(d) Water, Water resources and Conflict
(e) Governance and Conflicts over natural resources
(f) Globalization and Natural Resource Conflicts
The role of open source intelligence (OSINT) has assumed increasing prominence in intelligence communities since the end of the Cold War, largely as a result of the prolific growth of OSINT sources as a result of the rapid spread of worldwide use of the Internet. This module will cover thoroughly both theoretical and practical aspects of OSINT, including OSINT collection, analysis and management methodologies. The latter will be addressed by the application of OSINT by students to study varied case studies in two key security issues: nuclear non-proliferation and humanitarian crises.
This module will appeal most strongly to students taking the MA in Intelligence and International Security. However, it is anticipated that in line with the commitment of the Department of War Studies to the inter-disciplinary study of war, the module will appeal also to students on the whole range of existing MA programmes and contribute to their respective learning outcomes.
This module aims to provide students with:
- an understanding of the history, theory and use of OSINT;
- a critical understanding of the difference between collection and analysis of OSINT;
- specialised knowledge of the methods of collection and analysis of OSINT;
- a framework for applying these methods to two key security issues: nuclear non-proliferation and humanitarian crises;
- practical experience of the application of these methods in both individual and group contexts;
- and an appreciation of the strengths and limitations of these methods.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to carry out the following:
- plan and organise substantial OSINT projects;
- conduct highly advanced internet research, including the identification of rich sources of information, and the evaluation of the reliability and utility of sources;
- synthesise information from a range of sources, using the full variety of source formats (including hard copy and verbal communications in addition to online sources);
- perform a number of methods and modes of analysis;
- select these methods for use according to their suitability for collected sources;
- and to assess critically the theoretical rigour of their OSINT work.
Over the course of the past decade or so, a number of developments seemed to point to an increasing trend toward using judicial mechanisms to deal with post-conflict and transitional justice. The establishment of ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda in 1993 and 1994, the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in 1998, the inauguration of alternative forms of 'internationalized' justice in Sierra Leone, East Timor, Bosnia an Herzegovina, Kosovo and Cambodia and the apparent tendency toward the increased exercise of universal jurisdiction by national courts - all represented different approaches to prosecuting war crimes. Meanwhile, other processes have been tried with varying degrees of success, such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and other combinations of truth commission and amnesty in parts of Latin America and Africa. It has also become evident that justice in a post-conflict society cannot be achieved if not pursued through rule of law and independent judiciary.
This module examines all of these developments within a framework combining aspects of international law with aspects of international relations, and focusing on the merits and disadvantages of a range of approaches and the relationship between peace and justice.
- To promote interdisciplinary understanding of issues of international law and international justice;
- To encourage understanding of the interaction between politics and law in the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity;
- To understand the interaction between peace, and sustainable reconciliation in divided societies;
- To foster conscious critical reading and discussion of issues of peace and justice.
The development and spread of weapons technology has always been of central importance in international relations, and it remains so in today's world with growing concern about the proliferation of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons to both state and non-state actors. This module enables students to examine the causes, processes and effects of weapons proliferation, the evolution and effectiveness of the international non-proliferation regime, and the various ways in which the international community, and states therein, have sought to counter the challenges posed by proliferation.
The aims of the module are:
- to provide students with a specialised knowledge of the causes, processes and effects of weapons proliferation as well as the evolution and effectiveness of the non-proliferation regime;
- to provide an understanding of international relations theory and the strategic concepts necessary to understand weapons proliferation as part of the security strategy of states and how this relates to other international security issues;
- to acquire a critical understanding of the significance of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in the global order, including their historical role, contemporary trends and future direction;
- to utilise conceptual and theoretical frameworks to analyze and critically examine case studies of proliferation;
- to compare and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of historical and contemporary non-proliferation policies.
By the end of the module, students will have demonstrated:
- comprehensive knowledge of the empirical history of proliferation and non-proliferation;
- a sophisticated understanding of the link between proliferation and broader international security issues, including the causes of peace and war, military doctrine and strategy;
- an ability to engage critically with the concepts and theories of international relations and security studies and to use those tools to critically evaluate the causes, processes, consequences and policy responses to weapons proliferation;
- the development of critical analysis, independent judgment, and oral and written presentation to a level commensurate with taught post-graduate study.
Propaganda has been regarded as one of the key instruments of political practice since the beginning of the 20th century. Propaganda research played a crucial role in establishing the academic field of communication studies in the social sciences. After its heyday in the interwar and early post-cold war years, propaganda research has recently regained the attention of scholar investigating the nexus between information and warfare. This course traces the development of propaganda research over the last century up to the present day. The aim is to discover continuities and ruptures in order to conceptualise information strategies against the background of current conflicts and security issues.
This module aims to provide:
- a critical engagement with the idea of propaganda
- an appreciation of the political, sociological and psychological approaches to the study of propaganda
- a framework for understanding and analysing the impact and of persuasive communication on the media in times of war
- a critical appreciation of the relationship between government, the military and media organisations
- an awareness of how propaganda affects political decisions and public discourse
- a systematic investigation of the challenges media professionals face because of the emergence of 24/7 news coverage
- a critical understanding of the impact on new media on the proliferation of propaganda
On successfully completing the module students will demonstrate:
- in-depth knowledge of the role of propaganda in a number of historical and contemporary wars
- critical engagement in the methodological questions associated with the study of propaganda and persuasion
- a reflexive understanding of the dynamics of the military-media relationship in times of war
- an ability to analyse the impact of persuasive communication techniques on wider domestic and international political decision-making and the ways in which the political establishment strives to control media output
- a critical awareness of propaganda devices, including still and moving images of war and suffering
- an ability to engage critically with the literature on the subject and to undertake independent research
Rapid developments in communication technology have had a major impact on the relationship between information, security, war and terrorism. This course analyses war reporting by looking at the influence of political leadership, organisational factors in media structures, and the roles and norms of journalists. The course explores in depth the relationship between the military and the media, and how this relationship has been affected by recent technological changes and political developments. Special attention is given to journalistic representations of violence and the emergence of New Media in the reporting of war and terror. The first half of the course explores concepts and theories that help analyse war reporting. In the second term, these concepts are applied to specific cases, the Gulf War, the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War as well as terrorist attacks.
This course aims to provide:
- a framework for understanding and analysing the impact and the role of the media in times of war
- a critical appreciation of the relationship between the military and media organisations
- an awareness of how war reporting affects political decisions and public opinion
- a systematic investigation of the challenges military and political decision-makers as well as editors face because of the emergence of 24/7 news coverage
- a critical understanding of media effects and media psychology
- practice in qualitative and quantitative research methods
- critical analysis, independent judgement, oral and written presentation at a level commensurate with taught postgraduate study
On successfully completing the course students will demonstrate:
- an in-depth knowledge of the media coverage of a number of historical and contemporary wars
- a critical engagement in the methodological questions associated with the study of the media and war reporting
- a reflexive understanding of the dynamics of the military-media relationship in times of war and the clash of fundamental interests (secrecy versus publicity)
- an ability to analyse critically of the impact of war reporting on wider domestic and international political decision-making and the ways in which the political establishment strives to control media output
- a critical awareness of the impact of images of war and suffering on the general audience
- an ability to engage critically with the literature on the subject and to undertake independent research
Module code: 7SSWM023
Credit level: 7
The module aims to provide students with an appreciation of the theoretical and empirical links between organisational and community responses to the phenomena of terrorism; facilitate an understanding of the impact of responses to terrorism on both health and government systems; facilitate an understanding of the impact of terrorism on both an individual (mental/physical health/behaviour) and community level; enable students to develop a critical awareness of the role of organisations in countering terror and increasing resilience in society, as well as the problems encountered by organisations responsible for responding to terrorism; enable students to understand the different information needs and concerns of emergency responders, healthcare providers, and members of the public for a variety of terrorist attacks, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents; encourage critical reflection on counter terrorism approaches, the public acceptability of counter terror technologies, and the way in which strategic interventions that incorporate public perceptions of risk and effective risk communication help reduce vulnerability to terrorist acts, and facilitate greater governmental, organisational and community engagement in responding to the threat of terrorism.
This module is one of the compulsory elements in the MA in Science and Security. It is also available as an option for students on other MA programmes. The module investigates the impact of nuclear and biological weapons on international security. In order to do so, we first gain a knowledge of key concepts and theories in International Relations and Security Studies.
We then turn to the science and technology involved in these weapons. Given that acquiring fissile material is the biggest technical challenge faced by proliferators, managing the fuel cycle is key to preventing proliferation—and so it is there that we will begin. Following that, we will then look at the science of nuclear warheads, focusing on the main developments in warhead technology since the 1940s. The effects of these weapons will also be discussed and contrasted with those from radiological devices which a more likely target for non-state actors. With the potential to cause mass deaths at low cost, biological weapons have been called the 'poor man's nuclear weapon'. Emphasis will be placed on what recent developments in the biosciences, the advent and proliferation of genetic engineering techniques in particular, mean for preventing the proliferation of biological weapons. We then examine the means of delivering nuclear and biological warheads by focusing on the technology underpinning ballistic and cruise missiles and contrasting these methods with other systems.
Drawing on these two bodies of knowledge, we then use deterrence theory to analyses the impact of nuclear and biological weapons on state security. This is followed by an analysis of the political and technological challenges of attributing an attack with nuclear or biological weapons. We also investigate the threat posed by these weapons in the hands of non-state actors. Finally we conclude with an examination of two important current issues the scientific and political feasibility of 'new' nuclear weapons and the possibility of developing robust systems for verifying nuclear disarmament.
The aims of the module are:
- Familiarize students with the basic science underlying key nuclear and biological weapons and their delivery systems
- Develop a systematic understand of the key concepts and theories from the fields of international relations and security studies, especially as they relate to the analysis of nuclear and biological weapons
- Provide a framework for the original analysis of the historical and contemporary role of scientific and technical issues and developments in international security
- Foster the capacity of critical analysis, independent judgement and communication at a level commensurate with taught postgraduate study
Students who successfully complete this module will have:
- A basic understanding of the science underlying nuclear and biological weapons
- An understanding of the relevance of the science to key policy problems
- Critically engaged with the key concepts and theories used in security studies and applied those concepts and theories to an analysis of biological and nuclear weapons
- Exercised informed and independent judgment on the primary intellectual and policy debates regarding nuclear and biological weapons
- Practiced a range of intellectual, practical and transferable skills, through participation in classes and through the preparation and submission of module work
This module analyses the origins, prevention and impact of terrorism through a psychological lens, with emphasis on social psychological theories and approaches. It will provide an overview of the key social and psychological theories of terrorism and their application in relation to (a) understanding and preventing terrorism, and (b) understanding community responses to terrorism. Students will be introduced to applied research, competing perspectives and be encouraged to critically engage with this material.
The aims of the module are:
To provide students with knowledge and understanding of key social and psychological theories of terrorism.
- To provide students with an understanding of the social dimensions of the origins and prevention of terrorism and their application in de-radicalisation.
- To facilitate an understanding of public responses to terrorism, both in the immediate context of a terrorist event and in relation to the impact that terrorism has on the wider community.
- To provide students with an appreciation of the strengths and limitations of applying social and psychological theories to the origins, prevention and impact of terrorism.
- To encourage critical engagement with the research literature and provide a nuanced understanding of the challenges associated with conducting research in this field.
Students who successfully complete this module will be able to demonstrate:
- An understanding of the key social and psychological factors that may lead to violent radicalisation.
- An understanding of how social and psychological theory can be applied to preventing terrorism.
- An ability to critically evaluate the effectiveness of de-radicalisation programmes.
- An appreciation of public knowledge, understanding, attitudes and responses to terrorist threats.
- An awareness of the role of the media in public understandings of terrorism and its impact on immigration and security policy.
- An awareness of critical perspectives, challenges and controversies associated with terrorism research.
- An ability to critically reflect upon the application of theory in real-world settings
The aim of this module will be to provide students with an understanding of contemporary military operations, in the light of economic, social, technological and political changes affecting the environment in which these operations take place. Conflicts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be covered. The module will build on issues raised in the MA core and provide an opportunity for those students who wish to develop further their interest in contemporary strategic issues. Recent events - including the 'war on terror' - provide the backdrop to this module, and there is flexibility to adjust to any further developments. It is important, however, to provide perspective and to consider other types of military operation. The weekly sessions will provide the historical and analytical context for the current debates.
Upon successfully completing this module, students will be reasonably familiar with:
- Contemporary debates on the changing character of armed conflict, and in particular the importance of resources and identity;
- The shift from interstate wars to "wars among the people";
- A number of recent conflicts and their inter-connectedness;
- The history and uses of terrorism;
- The nature of the international jihadi groups and the world from which they spring;
- The changing technology of warfare and the impact of the 'information age';
- Questions of legitimacy and the role of the media and international law;
- The relevance of weapons of mass destruction;
- Issues of casualty intolerance and asymmetry;
- The problems of research into contemporary conflicts.
Module code: 7SSWM185
Credit level: 7
This course considers the conceptual difficulties involved with the term 'imperialism' in understanding current and past global conflict. Taking an historical perspective on the evolution of western European empires, it challenges many current definitions. Though the British Empire necessarily looms large, the course takes a comparative approach to western empires since the fifteenth century, examining the changing motivation, method, and perceived purpose of expansion. In this way, it will assess in particular the relative role of military asymmetry and of coercion in global history to the present day.
In a little studied, though important, passage in On War, Carl von Clausewitz declared that 'in war the result is never final'. What did he mean by this? Clausewitz, it seems, was suggesting that although our common conception of war is one characterised by the clash of organised armed force, the origin of war itself is more complex. Although war may resolve major clashes of interest, does it denote the cessation of all resistance? What, when it boils down, actually is resistance as a concept? It is these ambiguous and interesting questions that this course will explore. In particular, this module focuses on how people come into conflict with ruling systems and why they choose to live in opposition to political conditions where dissent is punished and the personal costs of disputing the status quo are high? Why do they take stands against systems of rule or orthodoxy that can result in exclusion, lack of preferment, persecution or even extreme personal danger? Through academic literature, memoirs, novels and film, this module will examine the nature of dissidence and resistance with the aim of asking the fundamental question: where does the concept of war truly begin, on the battlefield, or in the mind?
The module aims to cover the following issues and questions:
1) What does it mean to resist? Where can we situate mental resistance in the spectrum of war?
2) The nature of dissidence: who becomes a dissident and why?
3) In what political and social contexts does dissidence occur?
4) What are the personal, moral costs and dilemmas associated with dissidence?
5) What is the consequence of a study of dissidence for the understandings of war?
On completion of this module students will have attained a knowledge and understanding of the following:
1) The complexity of the origins and the nature of war and the extent to which it can be said to originate in acts of mental resistance.
2) The nature of systems that cause resistance and dissidence.
3) The moral, ethical and political problems that dissidence and resistance can cause.
4) Why, and at what costs, does one become a dissident?
5) The role of moral conscience in politics
Module code: FPS010
Credit level: 7
This course deals with legal and political issues of the State. It will look at issues such as the creation of states, their recognition and succession to them and state sovereignty.
Questions of self-determination of peoples and succession will also be discussed. The course ends with topics on jurisdiction and state responsibility under international law.
From the end of the Second World and throughout the era that came to be known as the Cold War, the Middle East was a battleground for Great Power rivalries and constant wars and insurgencies. These were fought between Israelis and Arabs, Arabs and Iranians, Arabs and Arabs, local actors and foreign invaders. This module will analyse these wars and insurgencies by focusing, in particular, on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Gulf Wars and Insurgencies in the Occupied Territories, Lebanon and Iraq. The role of the superpowers – the US and the USSR – will also be examined.
The aims of the module are to:
- provide students with the necessary concepts and tools to analyse the causes and lessons of conflicts in the Middle East, particularly between Israelis and Arabs and in the Gulf region.
- provide students with tools to analyse insurgency in the Middle East, particularly in the occupied territories, Lebanon and Iraq.
- introduce students to specific topics such as oil, water, demography, arms proliferation and more and assess its impact on conflict in the Middle East.
- introduce students to the main sources of information on war and insurgency in the Middle East.
- provide students with tools and background to enable them to critically engage with debates on war and insurgency in the Middle East.
A successful student will be able to:
- apply his / her understanding of the causes, conduct and lessons of war to the Middle Eastern region and analyse such case studies as the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran-Iraq war and more.
- analyse the motives and methods of insurgency groups operating in the Middle East.
- explain how water, demography, arms proliferation and more affect conflict in the region.
- engage critically with the literature on the subject, to undertake independent research and to communicate effectively about war and insurgency issues in the Middle East to a level commensurate with MA-level study.
This half-module offers students the chance to study the important conceptual, historical and contemporary themes within the ambit of intelligence and its relationship to the practice of warfare in the twentieth century. A particular emphasis of this module will be to illustrate the way that issues in intelligence permeate, or shade-off into, particular types of warfare and military operations characterised by covert activities, which sometimes form a specifically identifiable component within individual conflicts that can be classified as wars within wars. This module will explore how certain wars remain in the shadows and how they might be characterised as dirty wars and secret wars. The module will approach these themes utilising a strategic approach to comprehend the uses and objectives of these shadow wars and emphasise an ethical appreciation of the peculiar moral dilemmas that this particular type of war phenomenon induces.
On completion of the module students will demonstrate:
- A comprehension of the conceptual issues associated with how to define and understand intelligence related phenomena and their impact on warfare.
- An appreciation of how to identify the characteristics and dynamics of conflicts that may be termed dirty war and secret war.
- Through select case studies attain the ability to dissect and analyse forms of conflict that may be termed wars within wars.
- An understanding of the kinds of problems and moral dilemmas generated by these forms of warfare.
ACADEMIC ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
General entry advice
Minimum 2:1 first degree in law, history, political science, or international relations, or overseas equivalent.
APPLYING TO KING'S
To apply for graduate study at King's you will need to complete our graduate online application form. Applying online makes applying easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely.
King's does not normally accept paper copies of the graduate application form as applications must be made online. However, if you are unable to access the online graduate application form, please contact the relevant admissions/School Office at King's for advice.
This is a popular programme and we strongly advise early application, since places are limited and much requested. A waiting list will operate if places on the programme are filled prior to the closing date. Applications will not be processed until all the required documentation has been submitted. Applications normally take 8 weeks to process.
PERSONAL STATEMENT & SUPPORTING INFORMATION
Please provide a personal statement explaining why you are interested in this particular programme, and outlining any relevant experience you have. If there are any anomalies in your academic record, please use the personal statement to explain related extenuating circumstances.
Home/EU: Arts & Humanities Research Council. Overseas: British Council.
International Peace & Security MA
I chose to do my postgraduate studies at King’s due to the outstanding international reputation, and high graduate employability. Not only is my course unique to King’s, so is its War Studies Department; and this along with it being located in the centre of London (which offers so many opportunities complimentary to my studies) attracted me to the College.
Studying at King’s and living in London has also given me the chance to meet so many different people from across the globe and get involved in a range of activities, and this really serves to broaden my horizons. I have observed Parliament from the Strangers Gallery, and have attended a public lecture by the Chilean President. I have even secured an internship with the type of company I would like to work for after my studies.
All these factors combine to give me such a well-rounded and fulfilling educational experience, which I could not receive at home in South Africa. It is for these reasons that I would recommend King’s to anyone.
International Peace & Security MA
Dr Kuhrt is acting director of the IPS programme for Professor James Gow.
Dr Kuhrt has a BA in Russian and German, an MA in Soviet Studies, and a PhD (2000) in Russian Foreign and Security Policy. Current research interests include Russian and post-Soviet foreign and security policies; post-Soviet debates on international relations; regional security complexes, especially in Central Asia and the Asia-Pacific; the persistence of nationalism; issues of sovereignty and debates on intervention/human rights; dimensions of Russian Great-Powerness and Russia and humanitarian intervention. Dr Kuhrt is a member of the Post-Soviet Space research group. I She recently published 'nternational Law, Security and Ethics: Policy Challenges in the Post 9/11 World' by Routledge. Co-edited by Aidan Hehir, and Andrew Mumford. (May 2011)
Dr Kuhrt teaches the MA International Peace and Security core course, 'Contemporary Security Issues'. She also runs the optional postgraduate module 'Nationalism and Security'.
The Co-Director of the Programme is Dr Guigelmo Verdirame whose expertise cover a wide range of areas within the field of public international law. He holds a Laurea in Giurisprudenza (University of Bologna), an LLM (London), an MA (Oxon), and PhD (London School of Economics)and is Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. As a practising barrister since 2006 and, before that as a consultant, he has advised governments, companies and non-governmental organisations on public international law.